Superior-Douglas County Chamber Exits Tourism Promotion
A change in the way that the City of Superior is investing tourism dollars has caused a long-time champion of tourism marketing to vacate that position. The Superior Douglas County Chamber of Commerce's tourism arm - Travel Superior - will step back from some of the tasks it has performed for the area for decades; it will also not seek funding from the city.
The change comes following the City of Superiors decision to award the marketing contract to a Duluth-based ad agency; that agency - Swim Creative - competed for with Travel Superior for the three year contract.
After that $250,00 contract was granted to Swim Creative, Travel Superior had applied for the ability to operate the Visitor Center, which is located at the Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center. Travel Superior was granted the contract for that part of the tourism effort, in the amount of $40,000 - which was "less than half of its $102,963 request to cover operations, branding and promotion, and payroll expenses", according to an article the Superior Telegram [paywall].
The news came from Taylor Pedersen, President and CEO of the Superior Douglas County Chamber of Commerce and Travel Superior:
"We do not intend to sign the grant agreement for Hotel/Motel Tax funding approved by the [Superior] City Council on July 19, 2022. Further, we do not wish to receive funding from the City of Superior at this time, which we have previously recognized is mandated by state statute."
At the same time, Pederson also cited the successes in tourism marketing that Travel Superior (and, the Superior Douglas County Chamber of Commerce) has had. Specifically, he called out the fact that since 2017 "hotel/motel tax collections increased an impressive 47%" and that 2021 "was the best year on record for local tourism despite some liningering COVID concerns".